Solon refiles bill regulating minors’ use of social media

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 2) — A bill has been filed at the House of Representatives seeking regulation on children’s use of social media platforms.

Laguna Rep. Dan Fernandez refiled House Bill No. 543, or the Social Media Regulation and Protection Act of 2019, to push for “legislation that puts children’s well-being on the top priority.” The proposed measure would not only strengthen the privacy and security of children and minors, but also champion consumer protection, he added.

The bill lists down required actions on the part of social media companies to ensure the safety of their young users.

These include providing age restrictions and limitations on use of social media platforms; providing adequate and efficient notification mechanisms on declared parents of the child; strengthening features restricting users under 13 years old; setting “natural stopping points” for users, which would end scrolling after a certain amount of content; making it easier for users to track the amount of time they spend online; and setting a daily time limit for a user when they go online.

The bill also prohibits social media firms from collecting personal information of users below 13 years old without parental consent, and from users aged 13-17 without their consent.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology, Department of Health, and the National Privacy Commission are the agencies to be tapped to implement the proposed measure.